There are several precautions you can take to avoid at least some acne breakouts. The following tips are some of the major ones:
Diet and Nutrition: Even though science has not found a direct link between diet and acne it is very important to maintain healthy eating habits and to remember that each person are is unique. While greasy hamburgers may not have a harmful effect on some people they may cause lots of problems for others. There are many reports from individual acne sufferers that certain drinks or foods (it seems that nuts are particularly suspect) make their acne worse. All that can be said about this is pay attention to what you eat and how it affects you over the next few days. Another important diet key is drinking lots of water. If you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day it will help flush toxins out of your system and tend to keep your complexion healthier.
Cosmetics and toiletries: Some cosmetics and toiletries may clog up your pores — if your pores are clogged up your body will automatically increase its production of sebum (the natural body oil) and with nowhere to go, this will trigger an increase in the P.acnes bacteria that causes acne inflammation problems. Some of the products that clog up pores might include foundation make-up, night creams and moisturizers. The cosmetics and toiletries that have this effect of clogging up pores are called comedogenic products (because they help create comedones which are large, deep, pus-filled pimples). Products that do NOT have this comedogenic effect are usually labeled as “non-comedogenic” — so when shopping for cosmetics and toiletries try looking for those labeled “non-comedogenic.” One other thing, avoid going to bed with make-up on — you’ll just be grinding those cosmetics into your pores with your bedding.
Environment and hygiene: The environment plays a role in the development of skin blemishes. Dirt, dust and other pollutants in the air can irritate your skin and even block up your pores. This brings up the very important subject of washing your face.
You may think you know how to wash your face — you’ve been doing it all your life, right? Well you may have been causing some acne problems. Washing the face twice a day can prevent acne — washing your face six or seven times a day can wash away skin oils, causing your sebaceous glands to create more skin oil — and perhaps over-produce skin oil and cause acne problems. Washing your face or entire body GENTLY twice a day (or even up to four times a day) with a very gentle soap will leave you with a clean face and body and should minimize acne problems. SCRUBBING with a rough wash cloth, however clean and refreshed that makes you feel, is very hard on your skin and will, almost certainly, create acne problems by scrubbing away natural skin oils and actually damaging your hair follicles. If you are subject to acne breakouts, treat your skin very kindly and it will be kinder to you in the long run.
Sunlight isn’t your friend: If you are battling acne, avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and avoid tanning booths or sunlamps altogether. Some sources will tell you that tanning helps clear up acne. That is not true. Tanning simply masks acne. Another thing to consider is that some acne treatments cause your skin to be ultra-sensitive to sunlight, sun lamps and the ultraviolet light used in tanning booths. Having acne makes it very important to avoid sunburns so be sure to use sunscreen when you have to be out in the sun and be sure to wash it off when it is not needed any longer.
Hands off the face: Every time you open a door, pick up an item at the grocery store or shake hands with your good friend down at the corner store you get germs and bacteria on your hands. Every time you put those hands on your face to start a chemical reaction that may result in a breakout of acne. So your best bet is to keep your hands off your face.
Don’t pop those zits: Avoid squeezing your pimples, the only thing you will accomplish is spreading the infection that caused the pimples — it will also, by the way, cause permanent scarring. That is certainly worth consideration. Your pimples may appear to be ugly to you but the scars you get later will be uglier and more permanent. Use an acne medication and make the best of what you’ve got. If it becomes a medical necessity to have a pimple removed, that’s what doctors are for — your medical necessities.
Loose clothing . . . that’s the ticket: When you wear tight clothing you are creating friction on your skin and actually causing trauma to your hair follicles; that may not seem like a big deal but it is over time. The thing to keep in mind is if you have acne problems, it is not only an inconvenience, its sign . . . a sign that your body is out of balance — and it’s a delicate balance. Creating unnecessary friction and pressure on your skin can only cause problems; wear loose clothing to give your skin a break . . . and avoid a breakout.